It is good news that the joint program and development office (JPDO), formed recently at the direction of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, is crafting a national policy on air transportation. Many voices, among them mine when I served as president of NBAA, called for a vision and mission statement by the U.S.
Air Traffic Organization
The Bush Administration alarmed a number of people early last month when it proposed cutting the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) funding by nearly $400 million in its budget request for fiscal year 2005.
Former Free Flight Phase 1 director Charles Keegan has been appointed vice president for operations planning in the FAA’s Air Traffic Management Organization (ATO), succeeding Norman Fujisaki, who is retiring. Keegan will continue as director of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), the interagency organization developing the long-term plan for the next-generation air transport system.
Tom Appleton retired as president and CEO of Piaggio America, effective January 28. He was replaced by Eric Hinson, a former U.S. Navy pilot and test director who has served in various senior executive roles. Appleton will remain non-executive chairman of Piaggio America and will continue to support parent company Piaggio Aero.
Whoever is named to succeed Russ Chew as COO of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) faces particular challenges as Congress debates controversial FAA funding proposals that would take place over the next decade and are scheduled to start in October. Chew, a former airline pilot who led the ATO since its inception in 2003, resigned last month.
Growing numbers of smaller aircraft are compounding the problems air navigation service providers face, senior officials told the Jane’s conference at last month’s ATC Maastricht 2005.
Last month, FAA COO Russell Chew told a standing-room-only audience at the annual conference of the U.S. Air Traffic Control Association that a widening gap between the falling income and rising expenses of the agency’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) could reach a cumulative $8.2 billion over the next five years and he said the FAA must take positive actions to close this gap.
Hoping to stave off a shortage of air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA intends to hire 12,500 new controllers during the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified professional controllers more quickly.
H.R.2115, the House of Representatives’ “Vision 100–Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act,” was combined with S.842, the Senate’s “Aviation and Investment Act,” and was more commonly known as the FAA reauthorization bill. The bill made its tortuous way through the House and a joint conference committee, and it was finally approved by the Senate in late November. President Bush signed it on December 16.
Steve Brown took over as NBAA senior vice president of operations three months ago, but he is an old hand on the Washington scene. Before accepting the NBAA post, he served as a senior vice president of AOPA, president of the National Aeronautic Association, and most recently as FAA associate administrator for air traffic services and then vice president of operations planning in the FAA’s new Air Traffic Organization (ATO).